I remember one of my first actual memories of being a die-hard Mets fan. It was 2012, my family and I were on vacation in Baltimore, chilling in our hotel, when I check my MLB at bat app and see Johan Santana is throwing a no hitter through 6 innings. I think my exact words were something like “Dad, Johan Santana is doing REALLY well right now…”. So we just chill in the hotel listening to Howie Rosie because there’s no way for us to watch it (of course we miss the only no-hitter in Mets history). The excitement at that moment was the most excited I had ever been over baseball. Ever since that year, I’ve watched pretty much every Mets game I can in my free time. As we all know well, it’s probably not the best way to spend your nights…
Fast-forward to 2015. The first winning season the Mets had since I became a die-hard fan in 2012, and first overall since 2008. A season straight from a fairytale. Yoenis Cespedes comes in and saves us from the dead (no playoffs), and carries us to the promise land (World Series). That season didn’t end the way we all wanted it to, but we were finally full of hope as fans. Some of us experienced a winning team for the first time and we were confident that this could last for awhile.
Now it’s 2016. Murphy is replaced with Neil Walker, Asdrubal Cabrera is brought in, and they’re pretty “good-ish”. They bring in Jay Bruce and pray for the same magic that Cespedes brought back and got the exact opposite (thanks for nothing Jay). Still, they made it as the first Wild Card team but lose in crushing fashion. We had confidence in them going into 2017 as long as they added a few pieces (news flash: they didn’t add a few pieces).
Ah 2017, a fun season…said no one ever probably. The team didn’t add any big pieces (because why would a team trying to compete do such a thing?) but we had confidence because maybe David would return! And we still had Cespedes, he carried us to the playoffs in 2015 after all!! We just needed to stay healthy. News flash: they didn’t stay healthy. Lucas Duda, Curtis Granderson, and Addison Reed, all big pieces in that 2015 World Series run, were traded. Maybe THAT was supposed to be the hint to us that this was a new Mets era.
2018. New faces. An entire new pitching staff, led by Mickey Callaway. A new medical staff. Todd Frazier and Anthony Swarzak were added to the roster. Yay for mediocre players! I don’t think many of us had much confidence in this season…at best, maybe they’d make the second wild card. At worst….well, I don’t think our “at worst” predictions were THIS bad. Sitting in last place in the division, nearly 20 games under .500….this wasn’t supposed to be a rebuild season, not in the front office’s mind at least. But it certainly looks like it now…
Currently, we are in the midst of one of the worst Mets seasons in history. Not much has gone right. There’s negatives even with our all star, hopefully 2018 Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom because even baseball’s ERA leader SOMEHOW has a losing record. Brandon Nimmo had a phenomenal first half but our team’s awfulness didn’t even get him to the All-Star Game! It’s like the old saying “one step forward two steps back” except with the Mets it’s more like, “one good thing, a million bad things in return”.
A second straight horrible season really puts things into perspective. Was 2015 only 3 years ago?? And we are THIS bad already? Here’s a list of the players that were a part of that 2015 WS run AND have played in 2018:
- Jacob deGrom
- Noah Syndergaard
- Steven Matz
- Kevin Plawecki
- Wilmer Flores
- Michael Conforto
- Travis d’Arnaud
- Jerry Blevins
- Yoenis Cespedes
That’s it…9 men. What seemed like a bright future 3 short years ago now seems like a distant memory…
After hearing the news of Yoenis Cespedes needing heel surgery and being out until sometime around July of 2019, it seems like the reality has become closer to a rebuild than it has to a championship-caliber 2019 Mets team. One search of “Jacob deGrom” or “Noah Syndergaard” on twitter and the articles about trades are unavoidable. Add a new GM into the mix along with the Cespedes news and the idea doesn’t seem insane. Whether it’s the right thing to do or not, whether it will happen or not, it is clear that we are in a new era of Mets baseball. The focus has seemingly shifted to the future rather than the present, with players like Peter Alonso, Andres Gimenez, and Justin Dunn on the rise. Maybe it is time to embrace that.